tv [untitled] CSPAN June 24, 2009 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
available until september 30, 2011. transportation security support, $992,980,000 to remain available until september 30, 2011. federal air marshals, $860,111,000. mr. lewis: madam chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: part b, amendment number 2 printed in house report 111-183 offered by mr. duncan of tennessee. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 573, the gentleman from tennessee, mr. duncan, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee. mr. duncan: thank you, madam chairman. madam chairman, former congressman suny callahan, a very respected former subcommittee chairman on the appropriations committee, told me that we have done all we needed to do on airplane security when we secured the cockpit doors.
whether you agree with him or not that very inexpensive action took away the ability to hijack and use planes the way they were used on 9/11. now we are about to appropriate $860 million for the federal air marshal service, and i believe this money could be much better spent in any one of hundreds of other ways. however, my amendment does not eliminate this agency even though i do believe it is a needless, useless agency and my amendment does not even cut its funding. all it does is freeze this agency in the current level of funding $819 million. air marshals arrest a little over four people each year. even after my amendment they would still get about $200 million per arrest. there must not be a softer, easier, curby job in the entire federal government than just to ride airplanes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. many of them in first class. i'd rather give this money to local law enforcement people who are fighting real crime, the street crime that people
once fought. families all over this country are having to tighten their belts and many millions are having to reduce spendle. it would -- spending. it would seem to me we could stop giving billions of increases to agencies like this that are doing almost no good at all. actually, more air marshals have been arrested since 9/11 than have been arrests by air marshals. this is an agency that's grown by just 33 before 9/11 to over 3,000 now. now t.s.a. is doing at airports like what other local law enforcements are doing and many are doing on aviation security are more than enough. we need to realize that we cannot make everyone totally safe even if we spent the entire federal budget on security. . i have chaired the aviation ski for six years, but as one former
official told me, this air marshal agency is guilding the lilly. the "wall street journal" said in an editorial a few months after 9/11, quote, we would like to suggest a new post-september 11 rule for congress. any bill with the word security should get double the public scrutiny and four times the normal weight should all become law under the phony guise of terrorism. that was from the "wall street journal." and they noticed every department and agency was requesting additional funds and using the word security to justify unnecessary appropriations. everyone on both sides of the aisle would like to call themselves fiscally conservative. even if my amendment was to pass, this agency would be getting an almost 60% increase since 2003, more than double the rate of inflation since that
time. this amendment is bear bones fiscal conservativism, very minimal fiscal conservativism. and i might add that i never had a run-in with a marshall and i don't believe i know an air marshal, so this is nothing personal. but u.s.a. today had an article about this agency and the problems and troubles they are having and i think that this agency at least should not keep getting huge increases in funding. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina rise? mr. price: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. price: i rise in opposition to the amendment with great respect for the gentleman from tennessee who has labored in this body for many years in the areas of transportation and transportation security. i take what he believes very, seriously. and i know he offers this
amendment in all earnestness. and i want to say more in a minute about what our committee has done to make certain that some of the elements he is looking for, namely, a long-term assessment is addressed. it is not something we should go funding without analysis, and we intend for that to occur. i do not believe this amendment, simply flath funding the federal air marshals is the best approach. the exact number of federal air marshals is security sensitive. but a reduction of 40.6 million, which the gentleman proposes would result in a significant nment of air marshals being let go and t.s.a. would have to put a hiring freeze for all of fiscal 2010. we would have fewer high risk international and domestic flights covered. in fact, flight coverage would be below what it was in 2009.
with this funding reduction, it's possible that air marshals may not be on all flights during some high consequence event such as the 2010 olympics or national security events. i'm sure that t.s.a. would make every effort not to reduce coverage for such key events. but we would need to worry about resources being spread thinly under the gentleman's amendment. the funding reduction to limit the air marshals' ability to respond to unanticipated events, such as the u.k. liquid explosive threat, evacuation of u.s. citizens from lebanon. funding restrictions would affect air marshals' ability to support t.s.a. viper teams. they conduct exercises in mass transit and passenger rail facilities and designed to disrupt possible threats
garnered from our intelligence community. these air marshals perform vital functions and we need to know what we are doing if we cut personnel levels back. having said that, i do want to call the attention of colleagues to our report, page 74 to be explicit, where we discuss the longer term prospects for this air marshals program. and we go into some detail about these additional security measures that the gentleman outlined, which indeed may change the picture longer term. we don't know. we want d.h.s. to re-assess what's the long-term staffing level for the federal air marshals in light of the high risk model that better staffs. we have ordered this study. until we receive it, it's premature to reduce funding for air marshals without sound analysis to demonstrate what
threats might be addressed or what might not be addressed if there is a diminishment by the air marshal program. again, with appreciation with the gentleman's history on this issue, i do respectfully urge a no vote on the amendment. but i do pledge to members that we are going to undertake an assessment of this program long-term. and this time next year, we will expect to have a much better analysis to know what the long-term prospects should be. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. duncan: i'll close by saying i appreciate the comments by the chairman of the subcommittee, for whom i have the greatest and deepest respect. i served on the conference committee that created the t.s.a. and i do believe that aviation security is very important and i do believe that this bill does many good things in that respect. but i also know that the air
marshals service has a horrendous record so far. when you think of the very few arrests that they've made, it comes out to about $200 million per arrest. and i can't think really of any department or agency in the federal government that does less good with more money than this agency, and yet, in spite of that, i'm not trying to eliminate the agency. i'm not trying to cut its funding. all i've done by this amendment is advocate a freeze that would save a little over $40 million. and if we can't do that, really, we can't do anything that is truly fiscally conservative in this congress. when we recently raised our national debt limit to over $13 trillion, we need to start taking a few baby steps like this.
i urge my colleagues to support my amendment. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. price: i yield the remainder of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from tennessee. those in favor say aye.. opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. duncan: i request a recorded vote the speaker pro tempore: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from tennessee will be postponed. clerk will read. the clerk: page 24, line 10, coast guard separating expenses, $6 billion 822,026,000. compliance and restoration, zhrrs 13 million. reserve training, $133,632,000. acquisition construction and improvements, $1 billion of which $20 million shall be
derived from the oil spill liability trust fund of which $300 million shall be available through september 30, 2014. alteration of bridges, $10 million. research development tests and evaluation, $19 million. retired pay, $1 billion. united states secret service, salaries and expenses, $1 billion 457,504,000. acquisition, improvements, $3 million. title 3, protection preparedness, response and recovery, national protection and programs, direct ate management and administration, $44 million,577,000. infrastructure protection and information security, of which
$744 million shall remain available until september 30, 2011. united states visitor and immigrant status indicator technology, $351,801,000. office of health affairs $128,4000,00. federal emergency management, $844,500,00 the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: part b, printed in house report 111-183 offered by mr. poe of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 573, the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. poe: the amendment i'm
offering today section to add additional funding to the highly successful and widely supported national predisaster mitigation fund. at a time of deficits and government spending, this is good for the taxpayer. according to a study first released in 2005, the natural hazard mitigation saved an independent study to assess the future savings from mitigation activities performed by the group called the multihazard mitigation council stated for every dollar spent omit gation, $3 to $4 are saved. the congressional budget office issued its cost savings and confirmed the savings derived from the program. this amendment that i'm offering could save anywhere from $96 million to $128 million in future disaster costs and communities such as i represent along the gulf coast of texas, predisaster mitigation is essential in weathering future devastating hurricanes which
have ravaged my district and helping to reduce costs since recovery. since i have been elected, the following hurricanes have hit my southeast district in texas, katrina, rita, gustav and the latest is ike. every year it seems a new hurricane comes through my congressional district and also hits other gulf states. the purpose of this program is to implement hazard reduction measures prior to an event. funds can be used to help retro fit buildings, such as the courthouse that is used for the center for emergency management services. those retrofitting buildings can move properties out of flood plain and flood-proof buildings. requests from fundings for this program is three times the amount of money that's actually available under current law. this amendment takes $73 million out of the $850 million of
salaries, the $32 million figure comes from the amount that comes from the president's request and hurricanes to areas such as prone to devastation are looking to avoid the often long and painful recovery. the program is a community-based program emphasizes commitment to local input on what's needed. over the last decade the predisaster mitigation program has grown as mitigation has become accepted as federal policy. adoption and expansion of mitigation is a beneficial approach for government and has been bolstered by studies that demonstrate cost reductions from disasters. i ask support of this amendment and support of communities that would benefit from this amendment before a disaster strikes and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does
the gentleman from north carolina rise? mr. price: i i rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. price: the gentleman seeks to add $32 million for predisaster mitigation grants by cutting the same amount from fema's management and operations programs. again, i appreciate the gentleman's support for predisaster mitigation. i come from a state where predisaster and post disaster mitigation have been very important and successful programs. and i believe the funding levels in our committee in recent years have reflected this favorable evaluation and this favorable experience. but the offset the gentleman proposes is just untenable. i have to say that and i want to spend some time in explaining it, because i do respect the motivation that he brings to this effort. . we have correspondence from state and local managers that
also think this offset's unacceptable. they oppose this amendment because it cuts critical fema programs. and in particular i have a letter dated today from the international association of emergency managers along these lines. the congress has spent the last four years since hurricane katrina rebuilding fema's management and operations capabilities. at the time of katrina the agency was understaffed and unable to manage a catastrophic disaster. it's my belief that the increases over the last two fiscal years were a major disaster in fema's return to full strength or something like full strength as demonstrated during the response to hurricane ike and the midwest floods. i'm afraid the gentleman's amendment could send us backwards. the gentleman would cut the account that supports the national hurricane program, the national dam safety program, national continuity programs, disaster operations and disaster mitigation. the committee supports
predisaster mitigation. that's why we included a $10 million increase above fiscal year 2009. but the gentleman proposes a further increase, and i believe that should not come at the detriment of fema's operational readiness. besides, the grant program that the gentleman seeks to increase had $143 million that was unobligated or not spent at the time this bill was reported. in other words, there's money in the pipeline, a good deal of money in the pipeline. so as a supporter of increased mitigation, and as chairman of a committee that's championed increased mitigation, i believe we have enough funds for now to support ongoing mitigation work , and i think the offset would be detrimental to fema's readiness to respond to disasters. so i respectfully urge a no vote on the amendment, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas.
mr. poe: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: i appreciate the chairman's input on my amendment. as i mentioned earlier, the request for predisaster mitigation is three times what is available under current law. and i'm probably -- have dealt with fema as much as anybody in this house, not by choice but because of the fact that our district keeps getting hammered by hurricanes starting with katrina. and the management system of fema has a lot to be desired. that has to be dealt with eventually in another issue. hurricane rita, 2005, people in my congressional district are still living with blue plastic tarps on their roofs because of the inadequate response. that is why this bill is so important, because it allows for predisaster mitigation, it allows the hospital to get a generator so when they lose their power they're able to
take care of the patients that are in the emergency room. that is a portion of predisaster mitigation. and i think it's imperative that we be proactive because it takes fema too long to respond to disasters which drives up the cost of recovery. some people in my district still say fema is the disaster. we talked earlier on other amendments about the fact that the next terrorist attack may occur in new york city. that may be so, but mother nature, as we say in texas, has a mat on for hurricane alley because we keep getting hammered every year with hurricanes. and one way to help is to ratchet up the amount of money available in areas in the gulf coast and other parts of the country that have the likelihood of being hit by a major disaster, where recovery takes a long time, and if we are prepared with just a third of the money that is needed to recover, we can be prepared and
communities can get back together a lot quicker. so i would respectfully disagree with the chairman and say that we need to adopt this amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from north carolina. mr. price: madam chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not -- the gentleman from iowa. mr. king: i'd ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas will be postponed. the clerk will read. the clerk: page 39, line 18, state and local programs, including transfer of funds, $2,829,000,000. firefighter assistant grants, $800 million of which $380,000
to carry out section 33 of that act and $420 million shall be available to carry out section 34 of that act to remain available until september 30, 2011. emergency management performance grants, $330 million. radiological emergency preparedness program, aggregate charges assessed during fiscal year 2010 as authorized in the department of veterans' affairs and housing and urban development and independent agencies appropriations act of 1999 shall not be less than 100% of the amounts anticipated by the department necessary for its radiological emergency preparedness program. united states fire administration, $45,588,000. disaster relief, including transfer of funds, $2 billion. disaster assistance direct loan program account, $295,000.
flood map modernization fund, $220 million. national flood insurance fund, $159,469,000 shall remain available until september 30, 2011. national predisaster mitigation fund, $100 million. emergency food and shelter, $200 million. title 4, research and development, training and services, united states citizenship and immigration services, $248 million. federal law enforcement training center, salaries and expenses, $239,356,000 of which up to $47,751,000 shall remain available until september 30, 2011. acquisitions, construction improvements and related expenses, $43,456,000.
science and technology, management and administration, $142,200,000. research, development, acquisition and operations, $825,356,000. domestic nuclear detection office, management and administration, $39,599,000. research development and operations, $326,537,000. title 5, general provisions, including rescission of funds, section 501, no part of any appropriations -- the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from iowa rise? mr. king: madam chair, i have an amendment at the desk made in order under the rule.
the chair: the gentleman's amendment is at the end of the bill. the clerk will continue to read. mr. king: i'll spend until that time. thank you. the chair: the clerk will continue. the clerk: title 5, general provisions including recisions of funds, section 501, no part of any appropriation shall remain available for obligation beyond the current fiscal year unless expressly so provided. section 502, requirements of section 503 of this act, the unexpended balances may be transferred to appropriation accounts for such activities, may be merged with funds and may be accounted for as one fund. section 503, none of the funds that remain available for obligation shall be available for obligation through a reprogramming of funds that create a new program. section 504, the department of homeland security working capital fund shall continue
operations as a permanent working capital fund for fiscal year 2010. section 505, except as otherwise provided by law, not to exceed 50% of unobligated balances remaining at the end of fiscal year 2010, shall remain available through september 30, 2011, for the purposes the appropriations were provided. section 506, funds made available for intelligence activities are deemed to be authorized. section 507, none of the funds may be used to make a grant allocation or to issue a letter of intent totaling in excess of $1 million. section 508, no agency shall purchase any additional facilities to be used for the purpose of conducting law enforcement training without the advanced approval of the committees. section 509, none of the funds may be used for expenses for any construction of which a
prospectus has not been approved. section 510, section law 110-161 shall remain available in such sections applied to funds made available in that act. section 511, none of the funds may be used in controvention of the applicable provisions of buy america act. section 23512, none of the funds may be used to -- section 512, none of the funds may be used under the management and budget a-76 for services provided after june 4, 2004. section 513, the secretary shall research and procure new technologies to inspect and screen air cargo carried on passenger aircraft. section 514, except in section 44945 funds appropriated that are recovered or deobligated shall be available for the procurement or installation of
explicit detection systems for air cargo. section 515, any funds for the footed patrol boat conversion recovered shall be available until expended for the fast response cutter program. section 516, the chief financial officer of the department shall submit to the committees a monthly budget and staffing report that includes total obligations onboard versus funded full-time equivalent staffing levels. section 517, section 532-a of public law 109-295 is amended. section 518, functions of the federal law enforcement training center instructors staff shall be classified as governmental. section 519, none of the funds may be obligated for the development or operation of any portion of a human resources management system authorized by title 5 united states code. section 520, for fiscal year 2010, none of the funds may be
used to enforce section 40251 of public law 108-458. section 521, funds in this act may be used to alter operations within the civil engineering program of the blues guard nationwide. section 522, none of the funds appropriated in this act to the office. secretary may be obligated for a grant funded under such headings. section 532, none of the funds shall be used to fund any position designated as a principal federal official for robert t. stafford disaster relief and emergency assistance act. section 524, none of the funds may be used by the united states citizenship and immigration services to grant immigration benefit unless background checks required by law have been received by united states citizenship and immigration services. section 525, none of the funds may be used to destroy any horse belo